AP Top Stories December 25 P

Here’s the latest for Wednesday December 25th: Police and protesters clash in Hong Kong; Protests in India continue; Christians in Bethlehem mark Christmas; Swimmers brave cold waters for Christmas plunge.

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Bethlehem welcomes pilgrims for Christmas celebrations | AFP

Pilgrims from around the world gather in the biblical city of Bethlehem, revered by Christians as the birthplace of Jesus, to celebrate Christmas in the Holy Land.

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Showbiz: Ungaro, Banksy, Box Office

French fashion designer Emanuel Ungaro dies at 86; Banksy takes politically charged Nativity scene to Bethlehem; “The Rise of Skywalker” opens with $175.5 million; “Cats” flops. (Dec 23)

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Mysterious artist Banksy unveils dark nativity in Bethlehem | AFP

A manger scene juxtaposed against concrete blocks seemingly pierced by a mortar shell — with Christmas looming, the latest Bethlehem offering by secretive artist Banksy appears in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

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AP Top Stories December 1 P

Here are the top stories for Sunday, December 1st: Wintry weather stretches across U.S.; Ten injured in New Orleans shooting; Sewer backup floods New Yorkers; Christmas season kicks off in Bethlehem.

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Bethlehem’s Nativity Church removed from UNESCO endangered list | AFP

UNESCO removes Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity from its ‘World Heritage in Danger’ list after the building, identified by Christian tradition as the birthplace of Jesus Christ, went under renovation and conservation works. Church and Palestinian officials have since overseen high-quality work restoring “roof, exterior facades, mosaics and doors,” UNESCO said in a statement.

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Defunct steelmaker’s 21-story HQ imploded

Sixteen thousand tons of Bethlehem Steel collapsed in a matter of seconds Sunday as a demolition crew imploded Martin Tower, the defunct steelmaker’s former world headquarters in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. (May 19)

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Half-built school caught in the middle of Palestinian-US row

The West Bank village of Al-Jabaa close to Bethlehem received a USAID grant last year to expand its school, partly to increase the space for girls to study. Construction began late last year but will now halt, with only about a quarter of the work done and the entire school unusable after the Palestinian Authority announced it will refuse all US government aid for fear of lawsuits over alleged support for terrorism.

AP Top Stories Dec. 24 P

(24 Dec 2018) Here are the top stories for Monday, Dec. 24th: Stocks dive as year nears end; Body count rises from Indonesia tsunami; Crowds flock to Bethlehem for Christmas; Volunteers track Santa’s whereabouts around the world.

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RAW: ‘Santa Claus’ protest over West Bank separation barrier in Bethlehem

#Christmas #Bethlehem #protest

Palestinian activists dressed up in Santa Claus costumes held a rally against the separation barrier in Bethlehem on Sunday.

The protesters were filmed reaching the northern entrance checkpoint where they were denied passage by Israeli forces.

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Palestinians dressed as Santa Claus protest in Bethlehem

Palestinian activists dressed as Santa Claus and carrying Palestinian flags protest near an Israeli military checkpoint in Bethlehem. They distribute sweets to Palestinians working in Israel who are crossing the checkpoint back to Bethlehem.

At Jesus’s birthplace, an app is born to ease crowds

Bethlehem is buzzing, with more tourists expected this Christmas than have visited the Biblical city in years, causing the kind of problem that modern technology was almost born to deal with. Such are the crowds at the church built on the site where Jesus is believed to have been born that the authorities are planning to introduce an advance reservation system through an app.

Italian artists detained for Tamimi mural in Bethlehem

Mobile phone footage shows the moment two Italian artists were detained by Israeli police on Saturday for painting a mural of Ahed Tamimi on the West Bank separation barrier in Bethlehem. The video also shows a woman – later identified as Manar Raji, an assistant to the artists – chasing after an armoured Israeli police vehicle, protesting their arrest. READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/9baz

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Artist honours jailed Palestinian on Israel’s separation barrier

Italian artist Jorit paints a mural depicting jailed Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi on Israel’s controversial separation barrier in the West Bank city of Bethlehem. Tamimi was charged earlier this year after a viral video showed her hitting two soldiers in the occupied West Bank.

West Bank Palestinians burn Trump, Pence in effigy

Palestinians hang a burning puppet bearing the portrait of US President Donald Trump, during a mock trial for him and Vice President Mike Pence in the Aida refugee camp in the West Bank city of Bethlehem.

Far from festive: Protesting Palestinians attack Greek Patriarch for selling land to Israelis

In Palestine, celebrations of Orthodox Christmas have been marred by scuffles which have broken out in Bethlehem. Protesters there tried to block the convoy of the local patriarch of Greek Orthodoxy. He’s faced a recent backlash from Palestinians, for allegedly selling property in Jerusalem to the Jewish community. READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/8wct

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More Than 40 Palestinians Injured in Clashes

More than 40 Palestinians were injured in clashes with Israeli forces in Gaza on Friday amid continued fallout over US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Palestinians in Bethlehem also protested. (Dec. 29)

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Pope Francis Makes Christmas Eve Remarks

Pope Francis in Christmas Eve remarks on Sunday likened the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem to the migration of millions of people forced to leave homelands for a better life, or just for survival. (Dec. 24)

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